TEXARKANA, Texas -- Pleasant Grove was opportunistic on both sides of the ball as it defeated Pittsburg, 21-14, in a District 8-4A opener varsity football game on Homecoming on Friday at Hawk Stadium.
"We are 1-0 and that's a good thing," Hawks' head coach Josh Gibson said. "Our defense has been playing lights out, and Pittsburg, in what they do, is tough; Slot-T offense, hiding the ball really well. We gave up a couple of big plays but outside of that, we bowed our backs when we needed to. There was a lot of physicality and energy up front. We gave up just two touchdowns."
Pleasant Grove (2-4, 1-0) running back Jaylen Boardley scored three touchdowns, while quarterback Jarret Halter hit on 5 of 10 passes for 98 yards and a score.
"Jarret threw some great passes," Gibson said. "He made a phenomenal touchdown throw to Jaylen to end the half. Jarret is a winner and he's getting better and better with every game. He is a freaky talent."
On defense, Colin Manning had an interception for Pleasant Grove, while teammate Reese Elrod recovered a fumble. Cade Martin made a clutch punt when he booted a 58-yard punt to pin the Pirates at their own 10-yard line with 6 seconds to go in the game.
Boardley finished with 56 yards of rushing on 13 totes with two rushing scores and 32 yards receiving with a TD for the Hawks. Jojo Bailey caught two passes for 49 yards for Pleasant Grove.
The Hawks totaled 240 yards of offense (142 rushing, 98 passing), and the Pirates had 300 yards (291 rushing, 9 passing). Pittsburg was led by quarterback Brayden Bolton who totaled 181 rushing yards on 14 attempts and two touchdowns.
Boardley hit paydirt on a 3-yard run to give Pleasant Grove a 21-7 lead with 4:39 to go in the third quarter.
Brayden Bolton sped to the end zone on a 45-yard run to put Pittsburg within striking distance, 21-14, with 5:59 to go in the fourth. PG fumbled, the Pirates recovered, but the Hawks stopped them on a fourth down to regain possession with 1:51 left to play. Martin hit a booming punt and the game ended after two incomplete Pirate passes.
Boardley caught a 16-yard pass from Jarret Halter to put the Hawks up, 14-7, with 32 seconds left in the second quarter. Keilin Benton had a 45-yard kickoff return before PG's scoring drive to put the Hawks in prime field position at midfield.
Bolton found the end zone from 5 yards out for Pittsburg to knot the game at 7-all with 4:34 to go in the second quarter.
Boardley capped a 5-play, 44-yard Pleasant Grove drive in 2:14 with a 5-yard rushing touchdown with 8:36 to go in the first quarter.
Lydia Colvin was named Homecoming Queen for Pleasant Grove prior to the game.